image description
The Tyler Street Lab is now open.

New Incubator Space Opens On Tyler Street

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story

Those in attendance at the welcoming party got to participate as the Otha Day Drum Circle kicked off the event.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A new incubator space for the Morningside area is now open.
The Tyler Street Lab is now open at 730 Tyler St. The building houses offices for a number of community organizations and serves as a one-stop shop for people to access whatever they need, whether that be business assistance or community services.
The lab is funded by MassDevelopment's Transformative Development Initiative and headed by the newly formed Tyler Street Collaborative.
"The Tyler Street Collaborative is people from the community who have ideas and want to try to those ideas out. This is an incubator space for those ideas. If you came in and said you had an entrepreneurship idea, we'll try to help you get the resources, get it up and running," said Morningside Initiative Chairwoman Kate Lauzon. 
Currently occupying the space includes Youth Alive, the Morningside Initiative, the NAACP with its first local office in decades, the Goodwill, Rose and Cole Transportation, the Hope Seed Collaboration through Manos Unidas, Nicholas Russo organizing community bike events, and Lauzon's daughter who is a local artist and leads peer groups regarding addiction and mental health issues.
There are also two flex spaces for anybody or group to rent out an office for a certain day/days or hours.
Beyond those specific offices, more than a dozen of local programs and services will use it as a base. It will serve as a place for those in the Morningside neighborhood to get connected to the various organizations operating in the area for basically anything they would need. The space opened on Saturday with a "welcoming party" featuring music and dance. 
The idea has been two years in the making. The various groups had all been in existence and when MassDevelopment organized the Better Block event, they all came together. And it worked. The event went off without a hitch. 
"We are very diverse here. We have a Latino population. We have NAACP here. We have after-school programs. We are all working together. It shows the community that we can work together," Lauzon said.
The groups continued conversations and collective efforts and eventually were awarded a grant from MassDevelopment to open the lab. The city has been part of the TDI program for a few years as it pushes toward revitalizing Tyler Street and the surrounding neighborhood. The lab is just the next extension into those efforts.

The kick-off event was well attended by the organizations, community members, and city officials. The space is eyed as a collaborative working space for numerous initiatives taking place in the Morningside neighborhood.
Lauzon said even if somebody is outside of that district, they're still welcome.
"We are welcoming to everybody. If you aren't from the TDI Morningside area, you can still come here. We're not going to turn you away. It is a great placement for Morningside but we want everybody included," she said.
The group got access to the space in January and the grant pays for it to operate until the end of June.
"It took a lot to get the space up and running. The sweat equity was ourselves. We did all the painting, the furniture, we brought all the stuff in here. A lot of the collaborators put their own money into this on top of having to pay rent," Lauzon said.
MassDevelopment remains the main funding source and is actively involved in the lab. But Lauzon doesn't have certainty that the state will continue to fund it in the next fiscal year. Nonetheless, the Tyler Street Collaborative believes they will be able to take over if and when MassDevelopment leaves the picture.
"We're fundraising. If we don't have the money for the overhead, for the rent, we're not going to be able to continue this," Lauzon said.

Tags: Morningside,   neighborhood program,   tyler street,   

0 Comments welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to

Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Oct. 18-24

The 15th annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival continues through Sunday, Oct. 20. The Dayramir Gonzalez Quartet will perform at Berkshire Museum on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be preceded by a wine bar that opens at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m., The Colonial Theatre will host legendary vocalist Stephanie Nakasian and her daughter, Veronica Swift, in a rare pairing. The Berkshires Jazz Youth Ensemble will open.
Follow the yellow brick road to A Night in Emerald City and help Berkshire County Kids' Place raise critical funds. Enjoy dinner, entertainment, a silent auction and more, at the Country Club of Pittsfield. 5-8:30 p.m.
FRI MAD Crew Halloween Bash at The A | FRI The Equalites at The Colonial | FRI Story Slam (In a Slump) at Dottie's | FRI Andy Kelly at Bread & Roses Coffee House | FRI Pediatric Development Center Fundraiser w/Whiskey City at Proprietor's Lodge | FRI Blue Light Trio at Rainbow | FRI Spanish Guitarist Ben Schmolze at Mission | FRI Karaoke Night at Friends | FRI Sky Full of Dippers at Hotel on North | FRI Jay Boland at Proprietor's Lodge | FRI-SAT Wine, Cheese and Trees at Bousquet | SAT Generation X Rock at The A | SAT Lyndsay Anne at Proprietor's Lodge | SAT Django's Reserve at Mission | SAT Desserts & Live Music w/Hannah Bourdon at Dottie's | SUN Eagles Small Ensembles Concert at First United Methodist | MON Berkshire Athenaeum Book Club at Hotel on North | MON Jazz Night at Mission | WED Gruppo Mondo at Rainbow THU Comedian Gus Constantellis at The Colonial THU Haunted Hancock at Hancock Shaker Village THU Arrowhead After Dark | THU Throwback Thursday at Uncorked | THU Jim Witherell at Proprietor's Lodge | THU The Picky B's at Mission
View Full Story

More Pittsfield Stories